Chapter 313 – I want to pursue you

Chen Yunlan looked at the two characters “Yunlan” on the plaque and thought it was a coincidence. After all, “Yunlan” was an ordinary name in China. There were so many places named “Yunlan” that one couldn’t even count them with one hand.

So, Chen Yunlan didn’t pay much attention to this matter.

After the initial subtle feeling between Wei Chen and Chen Li faded away, they averted their gazes.

However, there was a hint of deeper meaning in Wei Chen’s eyes. Combining these vouchers for the hot spring hotel and the Chinese name of this hotel, it shouldn’t be just a simple coincidence.

Even before the family of four entered the hot spring hotel, someone came out to greet them.

Obviously, this villa-style hotel was fully embracing the ancient style of China. The person who came out to welcome them didn’t dress like the staff of other hotels in a formal suit but wore ancient China clothing, meticulously designed without giving the feeling of a studio photoshoot.

“Mr. Chen, hello.” The man in ancient attire approached, wearing wooden clogs that clattered on the bluestone floor. He performed an ancient ritual toward Chen Yunlan’s group before making a welcoming gesture.

Chen Yunlan immediately grasped the key point and asked, “Do you know me?” These hot spring vouchers were given to him by Zhuge Yu, so this staff member should recognize Zhuge Yu, not Chen Yunlan, considering that Foggy’s vouchers were not commonplace items; each voucher was recorded.

The staff member didn’t answer Chen Yunlan’s question but gestured again, indicating a request.

Seeing this demeanor, Chen Yunlan realized that he wouldn’t get any answers from this staff member and entered the Foggy Hotel with a peculiar feeling.

This estate was truly built strictly according to the standards of the ancient China palace, with a feeling reminiscent of every five steps leading to a floor and every ten steps leading to a pavilion. The corridors twisted and turned, exuding an aura of grandeur with their intricately curved railings and towering eaves.

The staff remained silent throughout, only stopping at corners to gesture politely for Chen Yunlan’s family of four.

The solid wood corridors meandered endlessly, seeming to stretch on forever.

After walking for several minutes, the staff stopped with the four in front of a building.

“Mr. Chen, the yuyis (yukata) are ready,” the staff member informed.

Chen Yunlan proceeded inside, feeling even more peculiar because, along the way, besides the staff, they hadn’t seen any other guests. It felt as if they had rented out the entire palace estate.

Deciding to embrace the situation, Chen Yunlan noticed Wei Chen and Chen Li changing clothes inside. Without voicing his concerns, he followed suit and entered.

The yuyis were made of soft white silk fabric, precisely prepared in four sets, with even Qiuqiu having one.

This was Chen Li’s first time wearing such attire. Holding the clothing in hand, feeling a bit puzzled, he glanced at Wei Chen, who had swiftly changed into the weighty garment.

Catching Chen Li’s plea for help through eye contact, Wei Chen gently placed the heavy clothing aside on the bed and went over to assist Chen Li in donning the yuyi.

Chen Li cooperated well, and before long, Wei Chen had helped him put on the clothes. Since giving birth to Qiuqiu, his weight had increased, and compared to his previously slender appearance, he had become more robust with some added flesh. His naturally doll-like face appeared even plumper, his eyes sparkling with curiosity as he encountered new things.

China’s ancient clothing was quite flowing, especially in white, accentuating this sense of fluidity. There was a sense of dissonance when Chen Li wore it, he loved the wide water sleeves of the yuyi, and upon wearing it, he began to wave his arms around.

Wei Chen adjusted Chen Li’s collar with a reach of his hand. Wei Chen, who seemed to have a built-in filter for Chen Li, couldn’t possibly feel any sense of dissonance. Wei Chen thought this version of Chen Li looked extremely handsome, almost ethereal.

Chen Li danced for a while, finally feeling satisfied, and urged Wei Chen to change clothes.

Naturally, Wei Chen complied with Chen Li’s request, swiftly shedding his own clothes and cleanly slipping into the yuyi. Wei Chen had striking facial features and an exceptionally stern demeanor. Surprisingly, this yuyi suited him well. It didn’t give the impression of a gentleman in white, but rather exuded a domineering and austere royal aura, truly handsome.

Chen Li couldn’t take his eyes off Wei Chen, scrutinizing him from top to bottom, completely captivated.

Suddenly, Wei Chen grabbed Chen Li’s hand and pulled him into his embrace, one hand holding Chen Li’s hand while the other circled his waist, locking eyes with Chen Li, and teasingly said, “What’s this? Do I look that good? You’re completely stunned?”

Chen Li hurriedly nodded, “Um, um, Achen, you look incredibly handsome!”

As Chen Yunlan emerged wearing the yuyi, he noticed Wei Chen and Chen Li’s heads nearly touching. Walking to the bed, he lifted the already sitting Qiuqiu, somewhat helplessly addressing the two fathers who were exchanging loving looks, “You two enjoy yourselves; I’ll take Qiuqiu to the hot spring.” This was him giving space to Wei Chen and Chen Li.

“Dad, let me take Qiuqiu,” Chen Li said, stepping out of Wei Chen’s embrace, displaying no hint of shyness.

“Yeah, Dad, you go and relax; we’ll take care of Qiuqiu,” Wei Chen added.

The reason Chen Yunlan had come here today was for his relaxation. How could they burden Chen Yunlan with the laborious task of taking care of the child?

Moreover, Wei Chen felt that if his guess was correct, somewhere in this hotel, someone was waiting for Chen Yunlan regarding something. He felt the need to test it out. How would they know if Chen Yunlan could move on from the past without giving it a try?

Unable to argue with Wei Chen and Chen Li, Chen Yunlan had to hand over Qiuqiu again to the two fathers and proceeded to leave the pavilion. As he stepped outside, the chilly air hit him immediately. Chen Yunlan adjusted his collar, and a staff member promptly handed him a large cloak.

Once he draped the cloak over himself, the cold air was instantly blocked out, and soon, he felt warmth enveloping him.

“Mr. Chen, this way, please,” the staff member bowed to Chen Yunlan, gesturing for him to follow.

Chen Yunlan followed the staff member, their wooden clogs clattering on the solid wood floor, making a clattering sound.

Soon, Chen Yunlan realized that his direction was different from Wei Chen and Chen Li’s. He asked, “Aren’t we together?”

The staff member replied, “Mr. Wei and they are enjoying the parent-child hot spring, which is in a different direction from the regular hot spring.”

Feeling increasingly suspicious, Chen Yunlan decided to halt. “You might as well tell me directly where you’re taking me. Of course, you don’t have to say, but I also have the choice not to go.” There was a glint of determination in Chen Yunlan’s eyes as he spoke seriously.

Realizing Chen Yunlan wasn’t joking, the staff member relented, “Our boss wants to meet Mr. Chen.”

“Your boss?” Chen Yunlan couldn’t help but feel puzzled. He wasn’t anyone significant, so why would someone go through such trouble to meet him?

“Please, Mr. Chen,” the staff member didn’t elaborate, gesturing once more.

Chen Yunlan stared at the staff member for a moment before taking a step forward.

Since Zhuge Yu had handed him the hot spring vouchers, indicating the boss might not have any ill intentions toward him, he decided to go and meet this person. He wanted to know what this person was really up to!

The staff member led Chen Yunlan along the winding corridors until they stopped in front of a palace.

“Mr. Chen, the boss is inside. Please,” the staff member said respectfully.

Naturally, Chen Yunlan didn’t back down. He pushed open the vermilion palace door and stepped inside.

As soon as he fully entered, the palace door slammed shut with a resounding thud.

This was an antechamber, with soft lighting cascading from the ceiling, presenting the grand décor within Chen Yunlan’s view. As Chen Yunlan beheld the furnishings inside, his gaze locked onto the walls because the paintings hanging there were all crafted by his own hands.

These paintings were Chen Yunlan’s early works when he was learning to paint with Mr. Sun. They were traditional Chinese paintings. The paintings on the wall were from that period, some of which Chen Yunlan thought had been ruined, yet here they were, displayed in perfect condition.

Yes, these were all original paintings. As the creator, Chen Yunlan naturally could distinguish the authenticity of these artworks.

Unconsciously, Chen Yunlan’s steps became lighter. He approached the wall, examining each painting one by one. Memories of creating these paintings surged in his mind—memories he thought he had completely forgotten.

It wasn’t about precious memories; it was about the pure joy he had experienced while painting. Each stroke in every painting was saturated with the emotions he felt at that time.

Seeing these artworks again, Chen Yunlan couldn’t quite grasp his current emotions. Was it nostalgia? Maybe, maybe not. Chen Yunlan felt a tinge of envy…

Envy for the undivided attention and purity he had back then.

After a long while, Chen Yunlan finally withdrew his gaze and continued forward. Water sounds emerged ahead, leading Chen Yunlan to speculate that the big boss who went through so much trouble to bring him here was likely near the source of the water sounds.

Pulling aside the hanging curtain, Chen Yunlan scanned the hot spring inside, finally resting his eyes on a figure by the shore, also clad in a white yuyi.

This person had a broad back; the yuyi, though loose, couldn’t hide their good physique. Standing tall with hands behind their back, facing away from Chen Yunlan, although he couldn’t see their face, Chen Yunlan sensed an aura emanating from this person. This was not someone easy to get along with, nor an ordinary person.

“Hello,” Chen Yunlan tentatively spoke, devoid of any timidity in his tone, though he didn’t feel nervous.

“You’re here,” the person responded, their deep voice cutting through the mist rising from the hot spring, reaching Chen Yunlan’s ears.

He felt a sense of familiarity with the voice but couldn’t recall where he had heard it before, which further puzzled him.

At that moment, the person standing with hands behind slowly turned around, finally revealing their true identity to Chen Yunlan.

“It’s you!” Chen Yunlan recognized the person, showing a look of sudden realization.

“Yes, it’s me,” the deep voice sounded again, carrying a faint smile. “Mr. Chen, forgive me for bringing you here using this method.”

This person was Xie Chunsheng, the man who had saved Chen Yunlan at the hotel entrance during Wei Chen and Chen Li’s wedding.

Xie Chunsheng’s presence was incredibly powerful. Despite the slight smile on his face, the aura he emanated, forged through experience, exuded a fierceness that couldn’t be softened.

“Mr. Xie, going through such lengths to bring me here, what is the purpose?” Chen Yunlan remained in place, not moving closer to Xie Chunsheng.

Xie Chunsheng, on the other hand, walked toward Chen Yunlan. His sturdy and powerful legs produced a rhythmic clattering sound as he stepped on the wooden floor.

“I didn’t bring you here for any particular reason, Chen, except to tell you something…” Xie Chunsheng spoke while approaching Chen Yunlan, standing right in front of him, locking eyes with Chen Yunlan’s guarded gaze. He slightly curved his lips, “I want to pursue you, with marriage as the premise.”

Xie Chunsheng possessed handsome features, although faint signs of aging were etched on his face. However, these slight traces added a mature charm to his appearance. His voice was deep, akin to the resonance of a cello. Yet, the words he uttered carried an undeniable dominance.

This man, who spent years wandering in the darkness, had carved out a world of his own in the ruthless underworld with his own hands. Undoubtedly dominant, he was determined to obtain what he desired by any means necessary.

Despite his desires being minimal after living half a lifetime, there was little he was passionate about. Chen Yunlan was the only person in his life for whom he felt so relentless, even resorting to any means to acquire.

As Chen Yunlan gazed at Xie Chunsheng, sensing his dominance, his pupils contracted. He took a step back, lowering his eyelids, and spoke crisply, “I’m sorry, I refuse.”

Xie Chunsheng chuckled, his laughter deep and rich. “I believe you misunderstand, Mr. Chen. I’m just informing you. Whether you agree or not isn’t within my considerations, because in the end, I will make you agree!”

Unwilling to argue with Xie Chunsheng, Chen Yunlan turned to leave but was abruptly stopped as Xie Chunsheng grabbed his hand. In the next moment, Chen Yunlan found himself pressed against the slightly warm wall.

“Chen Yunlan, I’ve lived most of my life without pursuing anyone. You’re the first, and I believe, the last.” Xie Chunsheng leaned closer to Chen Yunlan, softly speaking near his ear, “Therefore, no matter your current stance, I won’t give up. You have to believe…”

“Believe that in this world, there’s nothing that Xie Chunsheng can’t accomplish!”

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